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Cutting up a REI Flash 50 backpack
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Brian Jansen
(bdjansen) - F

Locale: Western Washington
Cutting up a REI Flash 50 backpack on 06/10/2010 21:06:31 MDT Print View

Should I or shouldn't I?

I have a Flash 50 backpack and I am trying to decide if I should cut it down to save a little weight. Or will I just regret it after?

Anyone have any experiance trimming things off their Flash 50 or it's big brother the 65?

John Kinzer
(gardentrail27) - F
Love my Flash 50.. on 06/10/2010 22:22:53 MDT Print View

I have a Flash 50 (so freaking comfortable) and when I remove the top cover and frame sheet the pack is well under 2lbs. Most trips I make are with my wife and I carry the majority of gear. So more often than not I leave the top lid and frame sheet in place.

I think the top lid could be a lot lighter and have been thinking about getting the zpacks top lid; or I may try turning the closure into a dry bag style closure and rockin it sans top lid full time.

Not sure how much you can save from clipping off the extraneous loops but there's some savings to be had if you cut out the internal bladder sleeve. I'd be interested to know your savings and what was removed. Love my Flash 50!

Brian Jansen
(bdjansen) - F

Locale: Western Washington
Cutting it up on 06/12/2010 13:49:26 MDT Print View

Well, I went ahead and trimmed it up. In total I took off 12 oz. The bag now weighs 1lb 15oz. That is with the stays and plastic back support still in there. You can remove those for another 8oz of savings.

I left all the adjustment straps (but I did cut them shorter) and the straps on the bottom for attaching a sleeping pad or tent. I also left the pocket on the belt. It was easier then I thought it would be and also looks pretty clean. I like how simple it looks now.

/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Cutting it up on 06/12/2010 14:37:38 MDT Print View


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Cutting it up on 06/12/2010 15:59:13 MDT Print View

Brian, please tell us what you chopped off -- and pics will be nice indeed. According to REI:

Full weight - 42 oz.
Minimalist weight (w/o lid, framesheet and stays) - 29 oz.

But you wrote that you got your pack down to 31oz with the stays and framesheet still there -- very nice! So for your pack, how much is the "final" weight -- with the lid, stays and framesheet removed?

John Kinzer
(gardentrail27) - F
Re: Cutting it up on 06/12/2010 22:59:00 MDT Print View

Whoa 12oz removed! Let us know what all you removed. I'm getting out the scissors...

Brian Jansen
(bdjansen) - F

Locale: Western Washington
pics on 06/13/2010 13:02:16 MDT Print View


Javan Dempsey

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
sleek look. on 06/13/2010 13:06:28 MDT Print View

Looks good man, really sleek now.

Although I'm admittedly hooked on having some outside pockets.

Brian Jansen
(bdjansen) - F

Locale: Western Washington
Re: sleek look. on 06/13/2010 13:33:00 MDT Print View

Yeah I would have liked to keep the pockets for water but they were attached to the big heavy pocket flap on the front.

Brian Jansen
(bdjansen) - F

Locale: Western Washington
Re: Re: Cutting it up on 06/13/2010 13:38:12 MDT Print View

The current weight without the framesheet is 1lb 6oz. I guess if you never wanted to use the framesheet then you could cut out the fabric and zipper that hold it in place and save another oz or two.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: sleek look. on 06/13/2010 14:23:29 MDT Print View

Wow -- scalped clean!!

Happiness is a pack just the way you like it. Very nice!!

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Wow on 06/13/2010 15:10:05 MDT Print View

Wow I'm impressed Brian. Stripped down that pack is just a tad heavier than a lot of popular frameless packs but is more versital because you can put the frame back in for heavier loads. Bacially you have one pack to do the jobs that I have two packs for. I use an old Golite Jam for midweight loads and I still keep my Gregory Z55 around in case I need to haul a lot of weight. If I'd done what you did I could have one pack to do both jobs for less money. Nice work.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Paring packs on 06/13/2010 15:53:58 MDT Print View

I did some surgery on a Mont Bell Balance Light 40 and dropped it from 2lb 4oz to 1lb 10oz. I got rid of the top pocket and an amazing amount of straps and buckles that went with it. The waist belt was just a simple strap and not load bearing, so there was little to regret there. I left the upper compression straps in place and remover the lower ones as well as the ice axe loops.

I left the load lifter straps in place-- I was afraid to remove them and ruin what little suspension the pack has. There is a closed-cell foam frame sheet that is in a sleeve, but I left that be, again to provide as much suspension as possible and I use my pack as a sleeping pad for my lower legs and feet.

I have no regrets, but I removed what I felt was safe and it wasn't an expensive pack in the first place. It would take more guts to hack away at a $400 ArcTeryx! It goes against the grain for me to buy a pack that needs surgery, but it is amazing what can be done to save weight--- a 28% reduction in this case.

Mat Tallman
(wehtaM) - F

Locale: Midwest
compression straps? on 06/13/2010 17:39:20 MDT Print View

it appears that any compression straps that may have been there have been removed, is this correct, or can I just not see them?

If so, are you no longer planning on using this without the frame sheet? Without any sort of compression/roll-top closure, it would seem that a strap system would be pretty vital...

Pockets and such are disposable, I agree, but it seems that this would lack the volume flexibility needed to account for depletion of foodstuffs during a trip, varying loads, etc.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Cutting up a REI Flash 50 backpack on 06/13/2010 17:51:42 MDT Print View

Looks like a lot less butchery (i.e., much neater job!) than what I did on my grandson's backpack. (Butchery = Backpacks Upscaled Through Creative High-End Remodeling, per a poster on another forum.)

Now that you've already done the cutting, hee hee: It's a good idea to try on the backpack over all your insulating/cold weather/rain gear before cutting to make sure you left enough strap to fit over them. I hope you did this! As was already stated, you really need the compression straps--but if you did cut them, you can always use elastic cord as a lighter substitute.

Reminds me of an old "Blondie" cartoon in which Blondie asked Dagwood to set up a clothesline. She complains, "You cut the rope too short!" Dagwood replies, "If you cut the rope too short, you can always splice it. If you cut the rope too long, though, there's nothing you can do about it."

john chong
(johnch) - F
Mesh pockets on 07/25/2010 23:46:11 MDT Print View

I'm digging up this thread by saying that I just got this bag last week and for the price after dividends ($70), it was a very valuable purchase.

Just looked at the picture up there, and noticed it bare. I was wondering if it would be hard to attach mesh pockets?

I'd want a huge front pocket, and one long side. The other side would have two mesh pockets, one for maps,etc. and a lower one for bottles.

I'm new to doing "surgery" on packs with scissors and needles, and would definitely love to hear some advice and tips on how to get this done.